BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Caps United . . . . . . . . . (2)3
Mushowani Stars . . . .(2)2
EVEN when they put up a below par performance, in the end they somehow get the job done.
That’s the mark of championship contenders.
This victory took Caps United back to the top of the log with 19 points. After losing for the first time this season to Airforce side Chapungu last week, United badly needed a win.
The Harare giants, however, put on a lacklustre show. Despite racing into the lead on five minutes courtesy of Godwin Goriati, who profited from a mistake by goalkeeper Hamilton Makangainwa to stroke the ball into the nets from a free kick by Valentine Musarurwa, they were largely unconvincing.
The gruelling contest against Chapungu, who edged them 2-1 on Thursday looked to have drained them.
It didn’t surprise anyone when a brilliant Mushowani levelled matters two minutes later from a penalty by dreadlocked forward Evans Katema after he was brought down by Musarurwa.
The Green Machine found themselves chasing the game again when Katema, who terrorised the United defence every time he got into the danger zone, doubled the lead on 23 minutes when he planted a header into the net off a cross by Kumbirai Kapikinyu.
Dominic Chungwa capitalised, once again on a blunder by Makangainwa, at the stroke of half-time when he fumbled the ball and the Green Machine striker accepted the gift to prod the ball home.
Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe, however, made changes in the second half, bringing on Ronald Chitiyo for Spencer Sibanda and Newman Sianchali and that worked wonders.
Chitiyo, who is gradually making his way back into the team after a long layoff due to an injury, went on to score the winner on 79 minutes with a super header off a wonderful delivery from Phineas Bhamusi.
Mushowani Stars, however, kept probing as they launched several raids in search of an equaliser. As the referee blew to end the match, Caps United heaved a sigh of relief.
Chitembwe acknowledged his charges were off colour, but was nevertheless pleased with the result.
“It’s a good result, quite refreshing. We gladly accept the result, but obviously in terms of performance we were slightly off colour. I think that was down to the fact that we played a gruelling match on Thursday. We were always chasing the ball. When we scored, they equalised and we were always under pressure because we were trying to correct the mistakes so we had to make some changes. We had been playing with a back four, but we put in three and had a lot of numbers forward, which is risky, but we got the result in the end,” Chitembwe said.
His counterpart Newman Mashipe said he was disappointed with the result.
“We did everything, but were let down by the final pass. We gifted them with two goals and its an area we need to address, but we could have scored at least two more goals. It wasn’t our day,” he